Members who are recruited by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are lured in with several perks, including money and extramarital sex.
The Financial Times (FT) interviewed a Syrian man in his late 20s who worked as a photographer by trade, and recalled the high-end equipment ISIS had in its possession.
“They offered me $1,500 a month, plus a car, a house and all the cameras I needed…I remembered looking around the office. It was amazing the equipment they had in there. I remember thinking, ‘These people can’t just be getting their money on their own. There has to be a state behind this.’”
33-year-old shopkeeper Abu Mohammed, who lives in the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, tells The Guardian that the wages for those who join ISIS are “very good.”
“Many of our young man in the city have joined ISIS either because of fear or because of the wages they give, which is $400 (£246) per month. This is a very good salary for us here.”
At the ISIS training camp, former member “Sherko Omer” told Your Middle East that recruits could have “Sex for Jihad:”
“We were promised women in heaven and on earth too based on [ISIS] jihadist teaching of the verses of some Suras of the holy book of Quran and hadiths by prophet Muhammad, all of which were explained through the Tafsir (explanation) by Islamic scholars like Ibn Majah, Bukhari, and Ibh Kathir. We were told all non-Muslim women prisoners will be our wives and God wills it.
“In Islamic holy war you cannot kill enemy women and children under any circumstances, they can only be taken as prisoners. It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with the captive women even if jihadists are married. You can buy and sell these women but for the children you have to raise them as home workers or teach them to become jihadists. I did none of these things because I was a communication technician not in the battlefield. And, who would claim otherwise when [ISIS] openly and proudly say they are carrying out these acts as implementation of Islamic Sharia.
“Nonetheless, there are Muslim women who willingly offer their bodies for [ISIS] jihadists and this is called ‘Sex for Jihad’ and they too will be compensated in heaven according to [ISIS]. However, these women were mostly with the commanders, I did not see average jihadist fighters with these Muslim women.”
Earlier this month, Muslim preacher Mizanur Rahman posted a Buzzfeed-style ‘listicle’ for reasons to join ISIS:
Advertisement - story continues below
H/T IJ Review
Photo credit: Zennie Abraham (Flickr)